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Monday, July 6, 2009

What can you do?

I saw this list on Andrea’s blog and thought it was a great thing to share. I whole heartedly agree with what it says. I hope this helps you in future situations. I think the list should be distributed at all funerals to avoid bad situations.

mICHELLE'S LIST(ANGEL JAMES' MOM)

When Someone you Love is Bereaved

I know a lot of people just "don't know what to say/do" so they don't do anything. Not doing anything is the wrong answer. Hopefully this list can help you help the ones you love in their journey of Grief.

1. First and foremost TALK about the loved one who's passed. Even if it uncomfortable at first, it will become easier.

2. If you didn't know the person at all or very well, ask to hear about them and learn of them through stories.

3. Don't ever put a time line on someone's grief.

4. Saying things like, "They are in a better place." Really isn't comforting. It makes the bereaved feel like the place they had with them wasn't good.

5. If you don't know what to say, just say, "I'm So sorry you have to go through this."

6. If the person needs to analyze the circumstances surrounding the death, let them just talk and rehash anything as many times as they need to.

7. Don't assume they are ever "better." It never gets better and will be a part of them for the rest of their lives.

8. Don't underestimate how frazzled, absent minded & spacey grief can make you.

9. Pamper them if you have means. Retail Therapy worked great for me! So did pedicures and getting my hair done, I felt awful on the inside, at least I could try to feel good about me on the outside.

10. Love notes. Emails. Thinking of You cards. Thinking of the bereaved person cards.

11. Do not, I stress Do not get offended if your loved one doesn't answer his/her phone or return your calls. Don't assume that they don't appreciate your effort. It's just that someone bereaved doesn't want to put on a "happy voice." and burden everyone with their grief.

12. Most bereaved people will not offer information on how they are doing unless they truly feel like you want to know.

13. Validate.Validate.Validate. Please whatever you do, don't compare your loved ones loss to someone elses' "harder loss". Every loss is hard. Comparing makes the person feel like they shouldn't struggle because it could be worse.

14. The comment "but aren't you grateful you know you'll see them again" isn't comforting. It is not a fix all. It is comforting, but it doesn't take the pain out of not having them now.

15. Just make sure they know you love them. Be a shoulder to cry on.

2 comments:

VLB said...

Yes, Melissa, this is all true. Thanks for posting it. Retail Therapy helped for me too! And I am glad now I have some more self-control and don't go out as much anymore. Love you!

TCF St. George Utah said...

Thank you for your list. I hope you don't mind if I copy it. I help run a support group for parents who have lost children. This could be very beneficial. I seriously think a copy put in every funeral program would be a great idea. Probably not politically correct, but still a great idea. Thanks again.

Oh, and someone gave me a gift certificate for a spa day after my son died. I will never forget it. Colleen